Hill state of India Himachal Pradesh is land of gods. It has number of holy lakes which are visited by thousands of devotees every year. Kamrunag is one of such lakes which is linked to history, as old as the Mahabharta era.
Kamrunag lake is the third major lake of Mandi district. Other two are Rewalsar lake and Prashar Lake. Kamrunag Lake is located in the Karsog Valley and is 51 km from Mandi city. It is situated at an altitude of about 3334 meters above sea level. Surrounded by thick deodar forest, the lake overwhelms nature lovers.
There is also an ancient temple of Kamrunag god or deity. This temple is built on the banks of Kamrunag lake, where a stone statue is installed.
In the month of June (आषाढ़) a huge fair Saranahuli in the vicinity of this temple is held. Thousands of devotees from all over the state gather to show their love and reverence to the Kamrunag deity.
There is no direct road to Kamrunag and it can be reached by trekking only. The 6km trek presents breathtaking views and offers a special and long lasting experience to tourists.
There is a tradition to offer valuables including gold, silver, coins and even currency notes to the lake, especially when their wishes are fulfilled by Dev Kamrunag. Gold and silver jewellery is also offered to the deity via lake.
It is believed that the tradition of offering gold, silver and money to Kamrunag lake has been going on for centuries. It is said that an uncountable treasure of gold, silver and money is laying in the lake.
Kamrunag used to be a warrior in Mahabharata age. Barbarik or Babrubhan, also known as Ratna Yaksha, was an invincible warrior of his time. He wanted to take part in the war of Mahabharata.
When he went to ask permission from his mother to take part in the war, she asked him to promise that he would fight on behalf of the army which would be losing.
When lord Krishna came to know about this, he decided to stop Barbarik because he (Krishna) knew that Kauravas would be losing the war. Krishna dressed as a priest (Brahmin) and went to see Barbarik.
Seeing only three arrows in his quiver, Krishna mocked him asking whether he was going to fight with only those three arrows.
Barbarik told that he would use only one arrow and that too would come back to him after hitting its targets. If all the three arrows were used then all the three worlds would be destroyed, Barbarik said.
Lord Krishna challenged him to pierce all the leaves of a Peepal tree standing in front of them. As soon as Barbarik took out the arrow, Krishna did hide a leaf under his feet.
In a few moments, the arrow pierced all the leaves and turned towards Shri Krishna’s feet. Shri Krishna removed his foot quickly and the arrow pierced that leaf as well.
Now shri Krishna expressed his desire to have a donation from Barbarik. He also made Barbarik to promise him that whatever was asked for, Barbarik would have to donate. Krishna went back to his real form and asked for the head of the invincible warrior.
Barbarik agreed but expressed a wish to see the war of Mahabharata. Krishna placed his severed head at a high place facing the battlefield from where he watched war till the end.
After the end of the war, Krishna gave Barbarik boon that he would be worshiped as Shyam Khatu in Kalyug and his torso (waist) would be worshiped as Kamru.
At present, Khatu Shyam is located in Sikar district of Rajasthan and Kamar (torso) is located on the hill as Dev Kamrunag.
Kamrunag Lake Folklore
When the Pandavas passed through this place on their last journey to heaven, they met Kamru. It is said that Kamru asked for water and Bhima struck the ground with his palm and a lake emerged, which is now known as Kamrunag lake.
The Pandavas threw all the ornaments they had in this lake and went towards the Valley of Flowers. Even today it is a tradition that devotees offers gold, silver, ornaments or coins to this lake.
According to priests managing temple, this lake is insanely deep and holds a treasure of billions.
Deity protects the treasure
According to folklore, Kamrunag protects this huge treasure himself. Many thieves have tried to steal the treasure in the past but have failed miserably. According to a priest one who would try to steal the treasure has to meet bad fate or even goes blind.
It is said that once a British man tried to extract gold from this lake but he failed and became seriously ill.
Inaccessible in winters
In winters the entire Kamru Nag area is covered with a thick layer of snow hence this place goes insurmountable in winters.
Only experienced trekkers are advised to visit Kamrunag after coordinating local authorities so that they could be tracked and evacuated in case of emergency or bad weather.
God of rain
Lord Kamrunag is also called Bada Dev and he is also recognized as the God of rain. In the event of drought, people from places like Kullu, Chachyot, Mandi, Balh and Karsog come here and offer prayers for good rains.